Every time we had visited Dresden I was magically drawn to it – the Procession of Princes. It really is a shame that a piece of art like this is so well hidden in Dresden.
The Procession of the Princes is a wall picture of enormous size that depicts a cavalcade. It can be found on Augustusstreet on the outside of the sable of the Dresden Castle (Residenzschloss).
The mural is 102 meters long and is made of approximately 23000 porcelain tiles from Meißen. It depicts margraves, dukes, electors and kings from the house of Wettin which ruled Saxony from 1127 to 1904.
Originally, the sgraffito by Wilhelm Walther was commissioned for the 800th anniversary of the house of Wettin (finished in 1876). He tried to depict the faces of important personalities as well as important historic details as accurately as he possibly could. In total, the picture shows 94 people. 35 margraves, dukes, electors and kings of Saxony as well as 59 scientists, artists, craftsmen, soldiers, children and farmers beside the many horses and two greyhounds. Underneath every figure their name and the time of their reign were included in the picture. Unfortunately, the piece of art did not last well in the weather conditions and it was decided to replace broken tiles with specially made new ones during a reconstruction effort. The renewed mural was finished in the summer of 1907.
Fortunately, the Procession of the Princes survived the aerial attacks and the heat of the fires of World War II. After minor reconstructions and through cleaning its entire beauty was restored in 1980.
Access to the Procession of the Princes is free.